Stacking the Deck in Your Favor
How to reduce your financial risks from uninsured and underinsured drivers
We’ve all heard horror stories about uninsured drivers crashing into someone’s car, injuring the occupants and totaling the vehicle. As the saying goes, “You can’t get blood from a stone.” The driver probably didn’t have insurance because it was too expensive. Odds are your insurance company won’t get a cent from the driver, and you’re on the hook if you didn’t buy a policy that protected you against the risks of uninsured drivers.
Likewise, I’m sure you’ve heard stories about underinsured drivers. When a loss occurs, not enough coverage is in place to compensate you for the damage and/or personal injury that occurred as a result of the accident. Some insurance is better than none, of course, but not much better if it only meets the minimum state insurance requirements.
Know the minimum state insurance requirements for auto policies. Knowledge is power. If you know what the minimum is for auto liability coverage in your state, you’ll know how little coverage some drivers may actually have. Factor that into your buying decisions when purchasing an auto insurance policy. Know that just because you bought enough insurance doesn’t mean that the guy who hit you did the same.
A great way to protect yourself is with policies that allow you to “stack” the coverage. Most people don’t think about uninsured and underinsured motorist stacking policies, but they can be really helpful under certain circumstances. What’s stacking? Stacking allows you to increase the amount of coverage you buy to protect against uninsured and underinsured motorists. Say you have a car and you buy protection against both uninsured and underinsured motorists capped at $50,000, and you have a truck with the same limits on the same policy. If you get hit and you’ve got a stacked policy, you’d receive up to $100,000 of coverage because you can combine the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage purchased for each vehicle if needed.
The best thing is that purchasing standard coverage is usually very inexpensive. Insurance agents should always offer this coverage to you. Insurance policies cover virtually every scenario. It pays to run through them with your independent insurance agent to see if you should consider stacking. You’d be shocked at how many drivers meet only the minimum state insurance requirements. It’s up to you to protect yourself from potentially devastating financial losses that could result from a car accident that wasn’t even your fault.